6 Simple Tips To Change Your Daily Diet to Suit The Heatwave

Inconsistent climates and heatwaves are a big issue across the country; most cities across India are facing high temperature and severe humidity which is draining people of their energy, making them sweat and causing fatigue among people of all ages. Staying out of the heat and keeping yourself hydrated is key to dealing with heat waves.

However, there are other basic dietary changes you can adapt to equip yourself during summers so heatwaves don’t drain your energy. For instance, herbal teas and infusions can be beneficial during a heatwave for their hydrating properties and potential cooling effects. Teas made from herbs like mint, chamomile, and hibiscus can be enjoyed hot or iced. Mint tea is particularly refreshing and can help cool the body. Chamomile tea has a calming effect, which can be soothing in hot weather. Here are some other basic things you can do.

Increase Hydration

During a heatwave, staying hydrated is crucial as the body loses more fluids through sweat. Proper hydration helps regulate body temperature, supports bodily functions, and prevents dehydration-related issues like heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water daily is essential. 

Additionally, incorporating electrolyte-rich drinks such as coconut water and sports drinks can help replenish lost minerals. Consuming water-rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumbers, and strawberries also contributes to maintaining hydration levels. To make hydration more enjoyable, consider infusing water with slices of lemon, cucumber, or mint. It's important to avoid sugary beverages and excessive caffeine, as they can exacerbate dehydration.

Emphasize Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential components of a diet suitable for a heatwave. These foods are high in water content, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which help keep the body hydrated and nourished. Water-rich fruits such as watermelon, oranges, and strawberries not only quench thirst but also provide essential nutrients. 

Vegetables like cucumbers, lettuce, and celery are low in calories and high in water, making them perfect for light, refreshing meals. Incorporating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables into salads, smoothies, and snacks can help maintain hydration and energy levels during hot weather.

Opt for Light and Easy-to-Digest Meals

During a heatwave, heavy meals can lead to discomfort and sluggishness. Opting for light and easy-to-digest meals helps the body stay cool and energized. Focus on foods that are less taxing on the digestive system, such as salads, soups, and steamed vegetables. Lean proteins like grilled chicken, fish, and tofu are good choices, as they provide necessary nutrients without being overly heavy. Incorporating whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and barley can also offer sustained energy. Avoiding fatty, fried, and greasy foods is essential, as they can slow digestion and increase body heat.

Incorporate Cooling Foods

Certain foods have cooling properties that can help regulate body temperature during a heatwave. Foods such as yoghurt, cucumbers, mint, and fennel are known for their cooling effects. Yoghurt is a versatile option that can be enjoyed in smoothies, as a topping for fruits, or in savoury dishes like raita. 

Cucumbers can be added to salads or enjoyed as a snack. Mint can be used to flavour drinks, salads, and desserts, providing a refreshing taste and cooling sensation. Fennel, with its mild liquorice flavour, can be consumed raw, in salads, or as a tea. Including these cooling foods in your diet can help mitigate the effects of extreme heat.

Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals

Instead of consuming large meals, which can be taxing on the digestive system and generate body heat, opt for smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. This approach helps maintain energy levels and prevents the sluggishness associated with heavy eating. Eating every 2-3 hours can keep metabolism steady and provide a continuous supply of nutrients. 

Light snacks such as fresh fruit, nuts, yoghurt, and vegetable sticks with hummus can be ideal between meals. This practice ensures that the body remains fueled and hydrated without the discomfort of overeating.

Reduce Sodium Intake

High sodium intake can lead to water retention and exacerbate dehydration, particularly during a heatwave. Reducing sodium intake helps manage fluid balance and prevent bloating. Avoid processed and packaged foods, which are often high in sodium. Instead, focus on fresh, whole foods and use herbs and spices to flavour meals. 

Cooking at home allows better control over sodium levels in food. If using salt, opt for Himalayan pink salt or sea salt in moderation, as they contain trace minerals. Staying mindful of sodium intake can support better hydration and overall health during hot weather.